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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  July 19, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm PDT

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conducting many, many illegal instances, that's what i saw, like you did. also, he used to work for many newspapers, presumably before his conviction, as you say, then was rehired by "news of the world." >> do you believe he conducted illegal activities on behalf of "news of the world"? >> i can only comment what i know and i don't know that. >> what is your belief? >> i don't know. >> you don't know what he did? >> i don't know what he did for the "news of the world." i'm sorry. i don't know what he did. >> do you not think people would find it incredible that as chief executive of the company, you don't know? >> well, it may be incredible but again, it is also the truth. i heard about jonathan reese's rehiring by the "news of the world" by an investigation conducted by panorama. >> did you ever have any contact directly or through others with steve whitmore? >> yes. >> what did you do with him? >> he was one of the private
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detectives, as i said, who formed i think the major part of operation motor -- >> i would like to know what you did with him. >> sorry? >> i would like to know what you did with him. >> in the main, my use of private investigators while i was editor of "news of the world" was purely legitimate and in pursuit in the main, as you know, for the addresses and whereabouts of convicted pedophiles, than is my majority use, if not almost exclusively use of private investigators myself. i respect that the "news of the world" also used private investigators for other stories. >> are you aware that steve whitmore actually directed -- >> i wasn't aware until two weeks ago. >> you are now? >> yes, i am.
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>> why did you order a mobile conversion from steve whitmore? >> as i said, it was 11 years ago. i have answered this question many times but just to repeat, a mobile conversion which is finding an address from a mobile phone, that is what a mobile conversion is, and can be got through legitimate means. in fact, the story that you're referring to, the mobile phone was a business number and the address was widely known. >> so you can remember what the story was, then. >> i just said to you, i -- >> what was the story you were working on? >> i read it because i read it in "new york times." >> was that a pedophile you were after then? >> i think it would be unfair to the person concerned, because he has been named by "the guardian" and the "new york times." what i'm saying is that when i used -- the very few occasions in which i used a private detective was then. >> can you name other private detectives you worked with? >> no.
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>> you can't remember them? >> no. >> are you aware that the paper used other detectives, though? >> sorry? >> did the paper use other private detectives? other than steve whitmore, jonathan reese and glenn mulcaire? >> he was the one i was aware of at the time. as i said, the first time i heard about glenn mulcaire was when he was arrested in 2006. >> is it your belief that the paper used other private investigators, that you just can't remember today? >> no. i remember -- it isn't that i can't remember. you have the same information as i have, which is from the operation. >> thank you. one last question. do you have any regrets? >> well, of course i have regrets. the idea that milly dowler's phone was accessed by someone being paid by the "news of the world" or even worse, authorized by someone at the "news of the world" is abhorrent to me as it is to everyone in this room, and
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it is ultimate regret, the speed at which we found out and tried to found out, the investigation has been too slow. i think james and rupert both accepted that earlier. we are endeavoring or they are endeavoring now, i've left the company, to continue to investigate but of course, there are regrets. >> thank you. louise mensch? >> i would like to draw you out with a question i put to mr. james murdoch at the end of our last session, which is the wider culture of hacking and private detectives within fleet street and to what extent the "news of the world" felt justified in those practices, because everybody is doing it, if you like. i put to him that piers morgan, now a celebrity anchor on cnn, said openly in his book which
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was published before this whole controversy broke, that he had hacked phones, he said he won scoop of the year for a story, he actually gave tutorial in how one accesses voicemail by punching in a code and clearly from the account that he gives, he did it routinely as editor of "the daily mirror" and it was something that happened there. he was also of course an ex-employee of "news of the world." i went through the information commissioners' report and added up, for transactions in the daily mail's associated newspapers group, there were 1,387 transactions with mr. whitmore used by 98 journalists in total across titles and supplements in that group. is it not obviously the case,
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then, that hacking, the use of private investigators for licit and illicit purposes was an actual culture of fleet street and the "news of the world" participated perhaps with a sense of entitlement, the same that mr. morgan is using in his book, because everybody else is doing it. is that not the case? >> i think, look, we have had a lot over the last 11 -- well, 10 years, but particularly i think this committee held an inquiry which was incredibly extensive. every single editor of fleet street i think was called to this committee and as far as i was concerned, the failings of all newspapers and not understanding the extent of the use of private investigators across fleet street was held to account then, and there were
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many changes because of operation motor man to the data protection act, and although i accept mr. farrelly's knowledge of the observer will be better than mine, they wrote an editorial on this three months ago sort of addressing, again, readdressing that climate then and how different it is now. >> in the committee in 2003 they concluded there was widespread evidence of despicable actions across the media. i appreciate the legal sensitivities involved in this question but i will put it to you anyway. in 2003 you were asked if you paid the police and you clearly said we have paid the police in the past. if i may suggest to you that the manner in which you said that, you said it almost as though we have paid the police in the past, the implication being as do all tabloid newspapers. i'm not asking you to make
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specific allegations. in your general knowledge, were payments to the police widespread across fleet street or were they confined to news international titles? >> if you remember, the evidence as i gave in 2003, that it was actually i was going on to explain my comment and as you know, mr. bryant was asking me to explain my comment and the actual session ended. in 2003, straight after my comment about payment to police, was in fact clarified. i think last interviewed was the chairman of news international, the 2007 inquiry clarified it again and i clarified it recently to the home affairs committee. at the end of march, i think. now, i can say that i have never paid a policeman myself. i have never sanctioned or knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer. i was referring, if you saw at the time of the home affairs
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select committee recently, that you have various crime editors from fleet street discussing that in the past, payments have been made to police officers. i was referring to that wide-held belief, not widespread practice. in fact, in my experience of dealing with the police, the information comes free of charge. >> mr. dacor stated yesterday to his knowledge, the daily mail has never published a story based on hacking or blacking. this from a group that operation motor man identified as 1,387 transactions across its titles. do you think it is credible that all those 1300 plus transactions were licitly obtained or is this
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wider culture of hacking of which your paper was a part? >> i didn't see his evidence. i think that you have seen all the media groups in this country, that news international has been the one to openly welcome the prime minister's public inquiry into all fleet street practices. we haven't got it yet. i'm not in position to comment on other newspaper groups. like i said at the beginning, things went badly wrong at the "news of the world" and we are doing or best now to sort it out. i accept with not the speed that this committee would have wished but we are trying to put it right. i think on operation motor man it's important there was a select inquiry, select committee inquiry. it is properly right that the code of conduct of journalists and the ethics of journalism are in constant review, because if
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they're not, it is the freedoms that this press enjoys which i believe in very strongly, if there is not constant review of conduct and ethics, then they are at risk. >> one final question. your correspondence did place great emphasis when refusing to attend in previous letters, on you being willing to attend as part of a panel of newspapers editors, all of whom have been identified with operation motor man. in other words, you appeared to put emphasis that whatever happened at the "news of the world" it was part of this wider culture. i would just pose it to you if you seem to know or imply these practices were going on elsewhere, how could you not be aware that they were going on at the "news of the world" and do you not regret that you did not yourself undertake some kind of investigation into the "news of the world" rather than waiting for these things to drip out over the fullness of time? >> i think just going back to
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2002, 2003, with all the changes to the data protection act, the fact is there wasn't root and branch change as a result of the select committee inquiries and the result of the information officers' report into privacy. there was a fundamental change there across most newspapers and particularly, like i said, i was then editor of "the sun" and i can say absolutely that "the sun" is a very clean ship, a great newsroom and in particular, the operation motor man referred to the "news of the world" and "the sun" was a part of it. >> thank you. >> miss brooks, rupert murdoch in his evidence session said quite clearly that the
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responsibility for the closure of "news of the world" lay fairly and squarely with senior management of that paper, which i assume that includes you. is that the case? >> i think -- i think i may have missed that part of the evidence. i think mr. murdoch said it exactly how it was, that it was a collective decision. we all talked together. mr. murdoch was abroad at the time at a conference. we all talked together -- >> is that mr. murdoch senior? >> sorry, yes, rupert murdoch. yes. >> you wanted to say something else? >> no. sorry. >> when you were advising your staff that the paper was closing, during the private session, i think you said something like there was more to come. would you like to expand on what you meant by that? >> when i went down to the newsroom, to explain the decision, clearly and quite rightly, the journalists on the
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"news of the world" who very honorable journalists who have been putting out a newspaper under the scrutiny for a long time and the great exclusives and great pride in their newspaper, were very sad and baffled by management's decision to close the paper. what i was saying to them is that right now, you may not be able to right in this moment understand why we've done it but as the months and i think i said in a year's time, i think you will come to realization that we actually did the right thing. once you have broken the trust with the readers, there's not much going back and unfortunately, the "news of the world" used to lead the headlines for the right reasons, for its -- the cricket scandal recently, but for the last few months and probably actually for the last few years, it has been leading the headlines for the wrong reasons. once that trust was broken, we felt that that was the right
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decision. of course, it wasn't the right decision for the hundreds of journalists who worked there, who have done nothing wrong, were in no way responsible, many of whom were at the "news of the world," many spent years at the "news of the world" and are not culpable for anything and we have endeavored to find a job for every single one of them. >> i accept that engineers, drivers, all of them, they all expected the same job? >> everybody. >> everybody. >> not just in news international but across news corporation. >> so what do you anticipate will happen in a year that you don't know now? >> well, as i've said, part of the problem with this story is the lack of visibility of the documentation seized from glenn mulcaire's house in 2006. we have no visibility on it. you have no visibility on it.
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only the police have visibility on it. and they are conducting their new inquiry and i'm sure that will -- they will go through the thousands and thousands of documents that they say are there, and i think we will in a year's time, maybe even longer, we will actually get to a final position on what exactly happened. >> can i ask you just a couple of questions. james murdoch unfortunately couldn't answer it. during the course of last year's sheridan trial, there was evidence given under oath on two occasions that e-mail relating to the case showing contact between "news of the world" and private detectives, surveillance phone hacking, could not be retrieved as they were lost in some black hole in mumbai. that's not the case. do you know anything about that? >> i think actually what
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happened, he was referring to an issue that we had had with our suppliers. i think i'm correct in thinking the information commissioner has actually put out a clarification to that and explained that there was no issue and that they were entirely comfortable with news international's response to that. >> so do you know who gave him that advice that the e-mails were lost? >> i don't know. >> also the defense team has still not retrieved these -- >> sorry? >> the e-mails have since been retrieved. the defense team still haven't received them. do you have any reason why? >> i think, actually, in clarification from the information commissioner, was in fact that what had happened was the editor of the scottish "news of the world" had made a comment during the trial which had been interpreted as you are saying now, that actually when he had looked into it and asked news international for an explanation, it was actually a
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problem with our suppliers in india and there was no such retrieval. >> have you had any contact with andy corson during the sheridan case? >> during the sheridan case. i think andy was in downing street during the sheridan case, so i would have had some contact. >> did you have direct contact, e-mails, letters? >> i said i would have had contact. >> but no e-mails, just a conversation? >> it would have been mainly to do with work, by e-mail or by telephone. >> just a couple of questions. why were you paying andy corson's legal fees and glenn mulcaire's legal fees during the sheridan case? >> as i understand it, i know james murdoch addressed this, when andy corson left the "news
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of the world" he had an agreement that all matters relating to this, his legal fees were paid, and i think the same for clive goodman. on glenn mulcaire, i think his legal fees would be paid when in fact he was a co-defendant in the civil cases. >> okay. just finally, are you aware of any payment to police officers? >> no. >> okay. thank you. >> i would like to ask questions about the milly dowler case in particular. just for the record, you were editor of "news of the world" during the period of milly dowler's abduction. >> correct. >> just could you, of course, i have specific questions i would like to ask you about this, but could you just paint a picture for us about how a newspaper like "news of the world" goes about reporting on such a big story, what the level of the editor, deputy editor, senior reporters, would be in putting
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together a story like that? >> i think any big story, but for the purpose of process, most stories start out with the reporter and that reporter may be being asked by the news editor to go and investigate a story or they may have brought information about a story from their own contacts to the news editor. it is at that stage in a newspaper where the reporter and news editor discuss the veracity of the information, go out and check the allegations and come back with a more considered view. you can imagine that every newspaper gets a lot of information to the news desk and only a percentage, very small percentage, makes it actually to publication. so there are many layers from reporter to assistant news editor to news editor. finally, the story will go to the back bench which will be the people that will oversee the subbing of that story and the sub will often talk to the reporter directly with questions and amendments to the copy.
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the lawyers are involved at this stage throughout the process and then finally, the final decision on publication will be made by the editor, where it is and how prominent it was. in the obviously milly dowler's disappearance was a terrible news story and it would have been covered by all newspapers and for a very long time. the trial only finished last month. >> but for something like this, would it be normal to expect that it would have been the editor, the most senior member of the editorial staff on duty that day, the lawyers who would sign off on anything that would be written about it because the incredible sensitivity of the material? >> well, that is probably true, yes, that on any story, but particularly as you say, on such a sensitive story, the lawyers would be heavily involved and talking to the reporters and to the news editors or the news
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editors or executives on the news desk as to where the information came from or what the veracity of that information. >> how involved were you personally in the milly dowler case as editor of "news of the world"? >> as i say, the story ran for a very, very long time and so i will have been involved in the story over the many years. even when i was editor of "the sun," the milly dowler investigation and pursuit of justice for milly dowler has been in the news for many, many years, nine years. >> but obviously your time at the "news of the world" is pertinent to the hearing today. would you say the milly dowler case was a story that you were more heavily involved with than other stories that took place during your editorship simply because of the magnitude of the events and because of the real shock and horror of what had happened?
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>> not particularly more or less involved. the one thing i would say that we had had a series under my editorship, a series of terrible and tragic news stories starting with sarah payne, milly dowler's disappearance and subsequent murder, and then of course, other cases. as you know, part of my main focus of my editorship of "news of the world" was in convincing parliament that there needed to be radical changes to the 1997 sex offenders act which became known as sarah's law, which was very similar to laws imposed in america under megan's law. i suppose if i had a particular extra involvement in any of those stories, it would have been on the basis that i was trying to push and campaign for readers' rights on the ten
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pieces of legislation that we got through on sarah's law and just campaigning for those to be put forward. >> when you gave evidence to the committee in 2003, you referenced the milly dowler case as an example of how you thought the press had worked particularly well with the police and family and it was a view supported by andy corson who gave evidence with you on that day. i appreciate this is quite a long time ago. is that something you stand by now? did you have -- you spoke about it when you gave evidence. did you have particular knowledge of the details of the case? >> when i spoke about it in 2003, i was unaware of what i know now. however, in 2003, as far as i was concerned, which may sound in light of what we believe the allegations are now, it may sound quite frankly ridiculous but at the time, i believed that both on the milly dowler case and in the stone cases, that the press had exercised huge caution and tried to respect the privacy
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of the families. for example, i remember that, you know, one member of the press association was sent to go to the village and i was referring to that fleet street had actually come together and used the press complaints commission code and adhered to it to respect the privacy of the families. clearly, these allegations that came out two weeks ago, if true, are appalling and obviously contradict that statement i made. >> in the context of what we now know, it does appear ridiculous, to use your word. when were you first aware that milly dowler's phone had been hacked? >> i think it was last monday. no. might be the monday before. >> that was the first knowledge you had of this? >> i heard of it when the story broke, at first broke in the media, i think, monday evening. >> nothing -- to suggest milly
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dowler's phone had been hacked, that had been carried out or authorized by employees of "news of the world"? >> of course not, no. >> when were you aware that people of the "news of the world" may have gave this information to the police, information about what was on milly dowler's phone, to support their investigation? >> at the moment, again, i want to be slightly -- i'm going to have to be slightly careful, but i want to be as open as possible. we saw the story at the same time you all saw the story. my instant reaction, like everybody else, was one of, you know, shock and disgust. and that a family who had suffered so much already had had, that these allegations were clearly added immeasurably to their suffering. the first thing i did was write to mr. and mrs. dowler, a full apology to say we would get to the bottom of the allegations and if anyone either representing the "news of the
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world" or authorized by the professional journalists at the "news of the world" which i still find staggering to believe, but if we find out that is true, i have every confidence that news international and the police will get to bottom of that and they should, as a priority. >> i appreciate your statement there. but when were you aware that information was passed to the surrey police that resulted from hacking of milly dowler's phone. now you're saying you weren't aware of that until it was reported recently in the newspapers. >> yes. >> if it is the case that employees of the "news of the world" were firstly sanctioned for hacking milly dowler's phone, deleting e-mails from it, knew that and withheld that information from you, then decided of their own volition to pass that information on to the police, and that is what you are asking us to believe, am i right in saying that?
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>> can you explain that passing on it to the police? >> yes. if information that was received -- information that employees at news of the world relating to information -- relating to the hacking of the phone, was passed to the police to support their investigation, you say the first you knew about that was when it was reported in the newspapers. what i'm saying is, it must be the case therefore that someone without your knowledge who was an employee of yours at the "news of the world" who decided without consulting the editor or perhaps they did consult, to pass that on to the police. is that the case? is that the chain of events as they must have existed? >> i think, i understand the question. i think it's important to say that obviously, the milly dowler news story went on for many years and i had been editor of both the "news of the world" and "the sun" while the investigation was ongoing. what you asked me and i thought
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you were referring to was when did i first hear an allegation that her phone or voicemails had been intercepted by either someone working for the "news of the world" or authorized by someone at the "news of the world" and the first time i had ever heard that was two weeks ago. >> right. but with regard to information passed to the police about hacking of the phone -- >> but i wrote to surrey police immediately. my first protocol was to send milly dowler's family an unreserved apology on behalf of the news international and to assure them we would get to the bottom of it. representatives then met with the family lawyer almost immediately to try and get some more information to see if there was anything we could do, look for or assist in this case, and the third thing i did was write to surrey police to say that obviously in the last nine years, if they had come across
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any information that supported these allegations, could they please either give it to the metropolitan police's inquiry or share it with the management and standards committee at news international. i had a response from surrey police at the end of last week which is that because it was part of a criminal investigation, they couldn't help me. >> what i'm trying to get to is it would seem i think to us incredible that, potentially, allegedly, someone employed at the "news of the world" would take the decision themselves to pass information on to the police relating -- however obtained, part of a newspaper investigation they were part of, and they didn't consult the editor, didn't consult any members of staff. that seems incredible. >> but your allegation is that -- if your allegation is that someone on the "news of the world" knew that they had
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themselves authorized someone to access the voice mails of milly dowler and that they then told the police that they had accessed milly dowler's phone and they passed on that information, is that the allegation? >> what i'm saying, is there chain of events which links the hacking of the phone allegedly by someone at the "news of the world" or authorized by the "news of the world" to the passing to police of information that was on milly dowler's phone and also -- >> as you have been listening to rebekah brooks, let's listen to the president at the white house. >> and continued to urge both democrats and republicans to come together around an approach that not only lifts the debt ceiling but also solves the underlying challenges that we face when it comes to debt and deficits. some progress was made in some
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of the discussions. some narrowing of the issues. speaker boehner and the republican house caucus felt it necessary to put forward the plan that they're going to be voting on today. i think everyone's estimation is that that is not an approach that could pass both chambers. it's not an approach that i would sign and it's not balanced. but i understand the need for them to test that proposition. the problem we have now is we're in the 11th hour, and we don't have a lot more time left. the good news is that today, a group of senators, the gang of six, democrats and republicans, i guess now gang of seven, because one additional republican senator added on, put forward a proposal that is broadly consistent with the approach that i've urged. what it says is we've got to be serious about reducing discretionary spending, both in
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domestic spending and defense, we've got to be serious about tackling health care spending, and entitlements in a serious way, and we've got to have some additional revenue so that we have an approach in which there is shared sacrifice and everybody is giving up something, and so for us to see democratic senators acknowledge that we've got to deal with our long-term debt problems that arise out of our various entitlement programs, and for republican senators to acknowledge that revenues will have to be part of a balanced package that makes sure that nobody is disproportionately hurt from us making progress on the debt and deficit, i think is a very significant step. and as i said, the framework that they put forward is broadly consistent with what we have been working on here in the white house and with the presentations that i have made to the leadership when they've
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come over here. so here's where we stand. we have a democratic president and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts, modifications to social security, medicaid and medicare that would strengthen those systems and allow them to move forward, and would include a revenue component. we now have a bipartisan group of senators who agree with that balanced approach. and we've got the american people who agree with that balanced approach. my hope and what i will be urging speaker boehner, nancy pelosi as well as leader reid and mitch mcconnell, is that they tomorrow are prepared to start talking turkey and actually getting down to the hard business of crafting a plan that can move this forward in
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time for the august 2nd deadline that we've set forward. just a couple other points i will make. some of you may ask what does it mean for the plan that senator mcconnell and senator reid had been working on. our attitude is that that continues to be a necessary approach to put forward, in the event that we don't get an agreement at minimum we've got to raise the debt ceiling. so that's the bare minimum that has to be achieved, but we continue to believe that we can achieve more. and so i want to congratulate the gang of six for coming up with a plan that i think is balanced. we just received it, so we haven't reviewed all the details of it. it would not match perfectly with some of the approaches that we've taken, but i think that we're in the same playing field, and my hope is that we can start
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gathering everybody over the next couple days to choose a clear direction and to get this issue resolved. so far, at least, the markets have shown confidence that leadership here in washington are not going to send the economy over a cliff, but if we continue to go through a lot of political posturing, if both sides continue to be dug in, if we don't have a basic spirit of cooperation that allows us to rise above immediate election year politics and actually solve problems, then i think markets here, the american people and the international community are going to start reacting adversely fairly quickly. so i think it's very important in these next couple days to understand we don't have any more time to engage in symbolic gestures. we don't have any more time to
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posture. it's time to get down to the business of actually solving this problem and i think we now are seeing the potential for a bipartisan consensus around what that would take. it will be hard. it will be tough. there is still going to be a lot of difficult negotiations that have to take place in order for us to actually get something done, and as i said, we have to have that fail-safe that senator mcconnell and senator reid are working on, but the hope is that everybody seizes this opportunity. all right? okay, guys. i'm going to let jay answer questions today. i think i've been pretty good to you guys. but after the votes today in the house, i'll call up speaker boehner and the other leadership and we'll arrange for times where we bring folks back here and hopefully, we'll be able to report on some additional progress over the next few days. all right? thank you very much, guys. >> will that be in the next day? >> as i said, i think what you
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will be seeing is an evaluation of that plan versus the things that we've been looking at. i think what you're going to see is some significant overlap but obviously, just because we might agree in principle with a range of issues with six senators or seven senators, that doesn't get us out of the house of representatives, that doesn't get us out of the senate. there is going to have to be a broader agreement on the part of all the leadership that we're going to get this done in a serious way, and we've got a tight deadline to do it. all right? thanks, guys. >> and there you have it. you have been watching president obama speaking there at the white house briefing room with some good news, that the gang of six, the group of bipartisan senators has come up with this plan of cuts and revenues. i'm randi kaye. glad you're with us. along with me is wolf blitzer. i want to ask what you think of the president's announcement there. sounds like maybe they're getting close to some type of agreement.
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>> if it were just the president, if it were just the senate, they would have an agreement. i have no doubt about it. but it's not just the senate, not just the president. it's also the house of representatives. and while this so-called gang of six, three democratic senators, three republican senators, they can come up with a framework that includes cuts in entitlements like medicare, medicaid, social security, it also does include what they call revenue enhancers or tax increases, if you will, and there are so many republicans in the house of representatives where the republicans have a lopsided majority, it's by no means clear that even if john boehner, and i suspect maybe he personally is ready to go along with it, but even if he were ready to go along with it, there would be so many of his republican colleagues who would vote against it, and there probably would be some democrats who would vote against it because they don't want to see any cuts in social security or medicare or medicaid, so there's an enormous struggle ahead if this so-called framework that the gang of six, randi, has put
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forward. that's why the president is still clearly supporting what he calls this fail-safe proposal, this last ditch proposal by mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, and harry reid, majority leader, that if all else fails, and there's a good chance all else still will fail given what the house republicans want and some house democrats, for that matter, as well, that they will need to get that mcconnell/reid fail-safe proposal passed to raise the debt limit in order to make sure the united states does not default. i will add one thing. it's by no means 100% even sure that that mcconnell/reid last-ditch formula would have enough votes in the house of representatives. it will be close to get to that 218 number. so this is an important step forward. it does underscore once again the democrats and republicans at least in the senate can get together and make some tough decisions, just as they did in
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the bowles and that simpson/bowles excision thcommi came out last year. there is still an enormous amount of work to be done. one additional note. they will have this vote in the house of representatives later today to cut spending, cap spending and have a federal balanced budget amendment. it will pass the house. it will not pass the senate. the president's not even going to have to veto it if it doesn't pass the senate. so the president, once they get through what the president calls this symbolic gesture, then they can resume those negotiations for a much more sweeping plan with the speaker and the other leaders. it's still a work in progress. that's the bottom line. >> i think everybody in washington are anxious to move forward. glad to have you with us. thanks very much. we are continuing to watch the debt ceiling as it unfolds in washington. we are also keeping a close eye on the hearings related to news corp. we will rejoin the testimony
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given by rebekah brooks, former editor of "news of the world" after this quick break.
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we want to take you back now to parliament in london and rejoin the testimony of former "news of the world" editor rebekah brooks. >> now, this didn't just involve "news of the world" people because it was overseen by news international people, people who reported to you as chief executive, in particular john chapman. can you remember what conversations you had with john chapman after this evidence came to light? because we've heard from rupert murdoch that john chapman -- he used the chapman file for years. >> the original inquiry in 2007 i believe was instructed -- >> yes, we know the background. i'm just asking about when the
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evidence came to light through your committee, did you have -- and john chapman is a news international legal director who reports to you, can you remember what conversations you had? >> yes, i can. obviously we discussed it. as soon as it came to light, i think it was in the end of april that i was told about it, that mr. chapman was asked for his knowledge of it, why it hadn't come to light before, and the management and standards committee -- >> what was his response to you? >> his response at the time was that he was asked to do an investigation into the illegal interception of voice mails, that he felt that -- he felt that the recommendation, which was the letter that you have got -- >> very misleading matter.
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>> he felt as our legal advisor that the letter was -- >> got you off the hook? >> no, was an accurate review of the file, that is, something as clearly you heard today, neither james murdoch nor i thought it was on closer examination. >> did he just do that off his own bat? >> do what, sorry? >> did he just clearly get them to issue a misleading letter or letter that may not have been misleading to them at the time but actually to sit on evidence that gave a lie to what we were told, did he just do that off his own bat? >> i think they are a very respected law firm. i'm not sure that it's fair of you to accuse them of -- >> i'm not. i'm asking about john chapman, who reported to you. >> you said -- you asked if john chapman -- >> did he take the decision not to disclose anything any further? >> but -- you asked if john
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chapman had asked -- >> no, i know -- i asked you what he said to you. >> yes, but you also said did john chapman ask harbuckle and lewis to write a misleading letter and my response to that question was that i think that firstly, that harbuckle and lewis are a very respected legal firm and i'm sure that they would -- that that wouldn't be the case, and john chapman had been a very respected lawyer at news international for many years and i'm sure would absolutely not have done that. however, in light of what we know now, when i and the management and standards committee at news international saw that file, we felt that from our perspective, it put a new light on information that we had had in the past and we handed it over to the police. >> i didn't ask that question but it would have been a very good question to ask, so thank
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you. why did john chapman leave the employ of news international? >> as you heard in the previous session, that john chapman wanted to leave and we felt that under the circumstances that that was the right course of action. >> because john chapman's come out very strongly as the fall guy for this session. he acted alone, did he? >> i think at the time, that john chapman, who is a corporate lawyer, and daniel cloak, who is -- who was head of h.r., i think that they would say if called to this committee that in their experience and their knowledge, when they looked at the file, they felt that the harbuckle and lewis letter was correct. >> okay. i've got just a couple of final questions. one thing that struck many people was the silence across
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fleet street apart from a few newspapers, "the guardian" of course, and then the "new york times" in the coverage of this affair. can you remember calling any editors after "the guardian" story in july 2005 to discuss how they might cover or not cover the story in order to downplay the coverage? >> in 2005? >> in 2009, after "the guardian" broke the story, do you remember calling around editors to -- >> no, but -- >> -- to encourage them not to give the story any play? >> i don't remember calling him about it but he and i would talk about industry matters on occasion. but you know, i only knew what i read on "the guardian." >> the final question. do you recall a conversation with boris johnson during which
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he asked you what you want out of this, and your response was for alan to go down on his knees and beg your forgiveness. do you recall that conversation? >> absolutely not. >> thank you. >> my constituents might have asked you this earlier. on the 6th of july you referred to the fact that part of "the news of the world" he suggested that they wrote that there was -- left a message on her voice mail when the 13-year-old vanished on march 21st. on march 27th, six days after milly went missing, the employment agency place add phone to her mobile. given the importance of the milly dowler story and the
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seriousness of that that has been alluded to, was there not a question -- did you ask a question about how you managed to get that information? >> as i've said the most important thing in the milly dowler -- in the case of milly dowler is we get to the truth of these allegations as quickly as possible and i think that those who were culpable of that, if that turns out to be true, should face not just the appropriate but correct justice through the legal system. so i'm very mindful that i have to be careful of what i say because of what i know on the ongoing investigations. the fact is, and i can only keep saying this, the suggestion that milly dowler's voice mail was intercepted by someone working for "the news of the world" or
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someone on "the news of the world" was unknown to me. it's abhorrent to me and that's all i can tell you. >> i accept that and i will press a little bit further, mrs. brooks, just trying to understand the fact that there is a specific reference in the stories. i'm just surprised that if perhaps more questions weren't asked at the time, and i accept that you find it abominable. >> just accept that nine years ago when the story was run, i'm told now that the story you're referring to was a single column on page nine of the newspaper of that edition. i am sure questions were asked about where that story, that information came from. they would have been asked of the reporter or they would have been asked of the news editor. the night editor would have checked them. the lawyer would have checked them and there would have been a process around every story whether it's a single column or the front page. there would have been some sort of process around where that information came from. and i can tell you now that it
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would not have been the case that someone said, oh, yes, that came from an illegal voice mail interception. it seems now that it's inconceivable people didn't know this was the case, but at the time it wasn't -- it wasn't a practice that was condoned or sanctioned at "the news of the world" under my leadership. that's all i can tell you. >> okay. mr. watson also went on to say, talking about he suggests that you were present at a meeting with scotland yard when police officers provided you with evidence that your newspaper was interfering with justice. he particularly mentions the name of another senior executive and at the meeting a man from metropolitan police, that "news of the world" were guilty of interference and attempt to credit -- discredit a police officer and his wife. can you tell us more about that
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meeting? >> well, i can tell you something about it but it's -- i was asked to recall a meeting that i had at scotland yard in 2002. i was asked recently, i think by channel 4, about the story you're referring to. my information -- my recollection of that meeting was entirely different. my recollection of the meeting was on a completely different subject so i'm only going on what i was told by channel 4. they say it's a meeting in november but that's what was put to me. i checked my diary as much as possible and there was no meeting in november. however, there was a subsequent meeting and in very early january, so it may be that it was that meeting. that was not my recollection of the meeting. on the other hand i, because of
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the campaign, at this did have some pretty regular meetings at scotland yard mainly with the unit there. >> thank you. in terms of rupert murdoch said he relied on the people he trusted, referred to someone with mom he trusted his life like les hinton. who would you trust? >> i think the newsroom and if any newspaper is based on trust. if you think about the, and i'm sure you would agree with this, if you think about a way a story gets published. of course it's on trust. you rely on the people that work for you to behave in a proper manner, and you rely on clarity of information that you are given at the time. so that is why i can be so absolute with the committee today about the interception of milly dowler's voice mail from my own personal view. again, not commenting on what other people knew at the time. so when you say who do i trust?
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the whole newsroom and the whole basis of the newsroom is based on trust. for example, at "the sun" if trevor cavenor, my political editor when i was editor of "the sun" came to me with a story, i knew it to be true. i didn't need to ask which cabinet mince it ter had leaked him the story. i just knew it to be true because of the standing that he has and his experience as a journalist. again, you could say that's based on trust, but that's -- that is how it works. >> there are public statements about the milly dowler situation. >> yes. >> who else, from what you now know that you didn't know before do you believe people are likely to be convicted of crimes? >> well, again, i think that would be -- >> pardon? >> i think that would be
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slightly -- i don't -- none of us here should be judge and jury. i don't think i should answer that. >> okay. who else knows what you now know who either still works at news international or has left its employ in the last month, so it seems there's been a team that's put together, who could you say has done that? >> so the process of the crew standed when we handed over documentation we had found. all that documentation has been shared with the management and standards committee, james and rupert murdoch reported to reporting directly to the news corp. and for news international for that particular reason. obviously all the legal team working know it and the police are aware of everything that we're aware. >> just to clarify, would that group of people include anyone who has given evidence to our
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committee people like colin or les hinton? >> actually probably not, no. the management and standards committee was concerned with -- with the current management it was chief executive and my current executives would know about it. >> the final question from me would be do you have any regrets about any of the headlines? you've been in the spotlight yourself. you've been subject to quite a lot of media spotlight. does this make you regret any one at all? >> i think that -- i don't think you find any editor in fleet street that didn't feel that some headlines they have published they've made some mistakes, and i may differ to that. i've made some mistakes. on the other hand, despite, as you say, being in the spotlight
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recent recently and having read lots of criticism that's justified and lots of criticism that i would defend the right of the free press for my entire career. i think it's vital to us and, yes, it hasn't been particularly ble pleasant. it was one of the main reasons that i wanted to leave because i felt that i was detracting from the amazing journalists and media executives and all the people who work at news international. i felt i was distracting from their incredibly good work. but we have a robust and diverse press in this country covering all spectrums and all opinions and i think the freedom of that press should be forever more. i hope parliament continues to do it. >> thank you. mr. davis? >> how many times would you speak to rupert murdoch when you were chief executive of news
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corp. international? >> i would speak to mr. murdoch and james murdoch much more regularly since i've become chief executive than i did when i was editor. >> once a day, twice a day? >> james murdoch and i have offices next to each other, although his travel schedule because of his wide responsibilities, and i would talk to rupert murdoch quite regularly. >> once a day, twice? can you give me any kind of? >> on average every other day but pretty regularly. >> you said everyone at "news of the world" was working hard to get them a be job and make sure that they didn't lose it which is fairly admirable. why is that not the same for tom crone? you said he left employment because his job sort nof longer existed at "news of the world." if you're trying to find a job
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for everybody at "news of the world," why is poor old tom crone -- why did you not find a job for him? >> there are some people that didn't want a job. in the case of tom crone, his title was labor manager. he wasn't, as mr. sheridan pointed out, just journalists. in the case of tom, as i explained that he predominantly for the last few years had worked as the legal manager for "the news of the world" and, in fact, there's legal teams on all the other newspapers. so that was the current situation for tom. >> can i just ask you about neville philbin? did you know that when you were editor of "news of the world," did you know that he was somebody who was an inform aanto
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the police? >> no. >> you didn't know -- >> no. >> that he was a police informant? >> is that true? >> it's in "the evening standard." they quoted -- they quoted court reports dated back to 2000 when he said himself after a case the police were very impressed about the type of intelligence i was coming up with that was revealed in court and the judge said it was a substantial volume of information that was extremely useful to the police. it says also that sources close say, and this is a quote, people right at the top of news international were aware of his role to the police. >> i was not aware he was a police informant. >> that comes as a complete shock to you? >> you're telling me now. i'm not even sure what it means particularly. i mean, if you are asking me about the -- do members of the press and members of the police
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force have a symbiotic relationship, they do. i'm not quite sure what the word police informant means. >> well, the allegation is that he passed a substantial volume of information that was extremely useful to scotland yard and in return he received dozens of items of confidential information from the police national computer, that's the l allegation. >> i don't know about that. but most journalists who work as either a crime editor or a crime correspondent have a working relationship with their particular police force. >> when our report was published in early 2010 was when you were chief executive of news international and there were certain things where obviously we reported that we've found that the evidence from the
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people from news international had collective amnesia that we refer to in our reports, that it's inconceivable clive was a rogue reporter, passed on to us that we referred to the neville e-mail in there, all of that kind of stuff. when you were chief executor of news international, at the time that report was published, did you read the report that we published? >> yes, i did. i'm not saying i read every single word but i read a large majority of it. i it particularly read the criticisms that were addressed to the company. and i can only hope that from the evidence you've heard from us today that we have really stepped up our investigation and, you know, that rupert and james murdoch have been here today being very open and very honest with you as a committee.
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i was very willing to come despite the fact that there are some legal issues around what i say. i hope that you think that when we saw the civil disclosure in december 2010 we acted swiftly and promptly to deal with it and the police investigation would not be open. there would be not a new criminal inquiry if it hadn't been that news international handed over and i'm not saying that we haven't made mistakes, but we -- but the metropolitan police have repeatedly said, as you heard last week, the committee heard last week, they repeatedly said there was no need for further criminal investigation. so i think that everyone involved in 2007 would say now that the mistakes were made but i hope that you feel we have responded appropriately and responsibly since we saw the information in 2010.
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>> so when you read the report, did did you think, glory me, this isn't -- there are some things here that don't stack up? we might not have any evidence, i may not know anything, there's clearly something that's not quite right here. did that sort of prompt any activity on your part as chief executive of news international to say, well, let's go back over this because there's something not right here? >> no, everyone at news international has great respect for parliament and for this committee. and of course to be criticized by your report was something that we responded to. we looked at the report, but it was only when we had the information in december 2010 that we did something. i think you heard today rupert murdoch who said this was the most humble day. we come before this committee to try and explain openly and
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honestly what happened and of course we were very happy with the criticisms that this committee found. we aspire daily to have a great company and your criticisms were felt. >> could you tell us how often you either spoke to or met the various prime ministers, the editor of "news of the world," the chief executive of news international. how often would you speak to or meet tony blair, gordon brown and david cameron respectively? >> gosh, well, on the prime minister, david cameron, you know, we've met. well, i read the other day that we've met 26 times. i don't know if that is absolutely correct. i can do my best to come back to you on an exact number on that. i'm sure it is correct if that's what the prime minister's office says.
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i've never been to downing street while david cameron has been prime minister, and yet under prime minister gordon brown and prime minister tony blair, i did regularly go to downing street. >> how regular is regularly? >> well, on prime minister gordon brown, in the time that he was in downing street and while -- and also while he was chancellor, i would have gone maybe six times a year. >> and with tony blair, similar? >> probably similar. maybe in the last few years a little more, but, i mean, you want the exact numbers i can do my best to get that. but strangely it was under later prime ministers that i was a regular visitor to downing street and not the current. >> do you think that there was a change of emphasis with either the son or chief executive of
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news international in had a it always struck me that "the news of the world", particularly "the sun" as being around the antiestablishment publication. it always seemed to me the sort of paper that was on the side of the little person fighting the establishment. would you say that when you became editor and obviously your relationship with those prime ministers that there was actually news international became part of the establishment as opposed to being antiestablishment? >> well, considering the amount of complaints i used to get from both prime ministers and about the coverage of "the sun," i think if they were here now they would say that is not the case. one of the main campaigns that we have had is for help for heroes. i think "the sun" is absolutely the paper for the military and that caused us to have very, very uncomfortable conversations
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particular particularly with prime minister gordon brown and one of the issues that still is apparent today as it was back then is the lack of awareness of other aspects of the media and of parliament to acknowledge that currently we have soldiers fighting in afghanistan and war. people seem to forget that so i would not say that any prime minister would think "the sun" is not fighting for the right people n. fact, qu"the sun" continues to fight for the right people. >> how often will any of those prime ministers ask you as either editor or chief executive, how often would they ever ask you not to publish a story? would they sort of ask you to hide the story? would that happen? >> i can't remember an occasion where a prime minister asked us to not run a story. >> that's not a politicians general that would happen? >> no.
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i would say that i can remember many occasions when a cabinet minister or politician or a prime minister was very unhappy at the stories we were running. not that they pled directly for it not to run. as long as the story was true and accurate or was part of our campaign, are then there's no reason for a prime minister -- i mean, that's exactly why we have a free press. the. >> this is my final question. there's a feeling that in some way that you had a close relationship with the prime minister. the current prime minister. i think the allegation goes, it seems to me that it's no different than your relationship with the prime minister but just for the benefit of what people may perceive that you had a close relationship with the prime minister. that was helpful to him and certainly news international was
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helpful to him politically. but in return what news corporation was hoping for, whether that would in some way grease the wheels to the takeover. is any of that sort of part of why this stresses you if news corporation, were you encouraged to get closer to the prime ministers with that in mind? >> no. not at all. i've read many, many allegations about my current relationship with the prime minister, david cameron, including my extensive horse riding with him every weekend up in oxfordshire. i have never been horse riding with the prime minister. i don't know where that story came from. i was asked three days ago to disclose the race horse with the prime minister which i do not -- and i was asked a week ago to
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explain why i owned some land with the prime minister, which i do not, so i'm arrayed in this current climate many of the allegations that are putting forward that i'm trying to answer honestly but there is a lot out there that just isn't true. particularly around this subject, my relationship with david cameron. the truth is that he is -- that he is a neighbor and a friend but i deem the relationship to be holy appropriate and at no time have i ever had mi conversation with the prime minister that you or the room would disapprove of. >> thank you. >> a newspaper report the other day you advised david cameron on as a press spokesman and suggested it should be andy. >> yes, i also read that.
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>> what was your reaction to that story? >> so i think it's a matter of public knowledge that it was george osborne, the chancellor's idea that when andy left "news of the world" they should start discussions with him on whether he would be the appropriate person to go to hq. the first time i ever heard of him being approached was from andy coulson and not the prime minister. >> and so you had no conversation with david cameron? >> no. the answer is that -- the allegation which i have read is that i told the prime minister to hire andy coulson and that is not true, never was true, and the idea came from george. >> so you had no conversation with david cameron about andy coulson being suitable for that
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position? >> no. >> none whatsoever? >> no. obviously you were talking before his appointment? >> yes. >> no. >> you presumably would, in a social context, swap gossip with david cameron, and that gossip could actually be having been obtained by illegal means. are you satisfied that your dealings with david cameron before and after becoming prime minister that the sort of gossip you might share was aboveboard? >> well, i hope my earlier assurance that in any social encounters i've had with the prime minister that any conversations with wholly appropriate both as my position as editor of "the sun" or chief executive and his station as
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prime minister. >> and did you approve the subsidizing of andy coulson's salary after he left "news of the world"? >> again, that's not true. so i didn't approve it. >> so the report like "the daily mail" report is inaccurate, that his salary is not being subsidized by "news of the world"? >> that is correct, they are incorrect. i'm sorry. >> i have one final, very small question. would you agree, miss brooks that part of the public concern here is about the closeness of the police and now politicians to news enthuse and news international? >> i think the public's concern
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overwhelming overwhelmingly is on the interception of voice mails is the idea anybody could intercept the voice mails of victims of crime, and i think that's their overwhelming concern. >> there has been a lot of concern voiced over the closeness of police and politicians and news muse and "news international." would you agree as a matter of fact? >> i've seen that the "news of the world" has been singled out for that closeness. and i think if you are going to address it and you know this more than anyone on the committee because of your career as a journalist, that it is wholly unfair in the discussing of closeness of police be a politicians with the media to single out the n"the news of th world." >> okay. but it is a fact this has been a criticism, and yet you on your watch as chief executive manage a triple one because you employ the former director of public
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prosecutions to advise you on your approach to evidence and handing over to the police and while he was the dvp, along with his successor, who is not above criticism for frankly rubber stamping the police -- the complacent police approach, do you think that was an error of judgment actually given the circumstances? >> i think just to clarify the ken mcdonald issue which i think is important, he was hired by news corporation and he has been rigorous in his separation of payments to police and the illegal interception of e-mail. he is not to comment and if that conversation has arisen, he has withdrawn himself from the room
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and the conversation. so i hear what you say -- >> you can forgive people for shaking their heads, can't you? >> well, i can forgive people for shaking their heads if they believe the question you put to me was true. but i think if people understand he was hired by news corporation and not "news international" he's reporting directsly into the board and he's only discussing payments to police officers, then i don't think people would shake their heads. i mean, he has been rigorous in not involving himself into the illegal interception of e-mails. >> maybe we should call unless you have anything else you'd like to add? >> just one thing really. i know you've heard unreserved apologies from rupert and james murdoch. i want to reiterate my own. the most important thing that i feel is to discover the allegations, the truth behind
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the allegations particularly for milly dowler's family but for the other allegations of victims of crime. again, i would like to make just one request to the committee, that when i am free from some of the legal constraints that you will invite me back so i can answer. >> i think the committee will be very happy to accept that offer. in the meantime, can i thank you for your willingness to come and for the way in which you've answered our questions. >> thank you. she may have been arrested. she may be on bail, but it's still just over two hours of answering questions for rebekah brooks, the former chief executive of news international and forthright answers we will discuss with our panel, jeffrey robertson, the leading human rights attorney.
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the and now mrs. brooks was in a bit of a difficult position because she does actually have to be aware that she is arrested and of course has to be careful what she says. did she do the trick for you? >> well, she came with her lawyer and she made the point that she is under arrest and, again, she repeated the mantra that we heard from rupert and james murdoch. i guess with rebekah brooks we might call them the whopping three that they heard no evil, saw no evil, and this is, quite frankly, difficult to believe because she was in the hot seat. she was running "the news of the world" at the time. and she no doubt, again, the ball was rather dropped because the sean sayings that's come out of today is the fact that glenn, the man who did all the hacking, the demon hacker, is still being
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being paid or his legal expenses have been paid by news limited and he may still be paid. no one has actually seemed to have looked at his contract recently. this is the man for whose work rupert and james murdoch and rebekah brooks have grovelingly apologized and yet they may still be paying him. how can their apologies be sincere? he knows where all the bodies are buried. he knows to whom he reported and who he says put pressure on him. so let's, for heaven's sakes, have the fbi or some competent police force because our own police force can't even keep shaving cream out of parliamentary committees to interview him about who, in fact, did commission and cover up his work. >> all right, well, that's a fair point.
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michael, is this investigation -- was today by the select committee -- i suppose the answer is who came off best, the murdochs and brooks or the select committee? >> i think it was a no score draw in a way. unfortunately, because of the constraints, i think rebekah brooks you could see how she had risen to become chief executive in terms of her smoothness of manner and her ability to deflect questions. i think the committees all tried hard. select committees are very difficult because you can't continue the line of questioning because each of the mps goes off on a different line and they were quite good at either deflecting the question or saying they didn't know at the ti
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time. there seems to be a disconnect what a newsroom is like, it particularly a tabloid newspaper and the methods they use compared to until the shaving cream in the face. this august select committee. >> allison, stewart allen, if you had to weigh up on one hand and on the other perhaps what rebekah brooks said at the end in relation to one committee member that the public would be shaking their head after they've heard a lot of what was said. >> oh, absolutely. i think one of the things that's clear about all three people today in these hearings is it sounds like you have executives running a large global corporation that aren't on top of the facts. they're not on top of the culture. they're not on top of their brief and when you have people allowed or rampant phone hacking
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and police, alleged police bribery that's been allowed to persist over a number of years, you have something wrong. and clearly admitting that, detailing what you're going to do to do a root and branch review of practices, putting processes and structures in place so it can't happen again. that's the reassurance that viewers of cnn and readers of all these newspapers want to mo. >> a great deal about press and freedoms. what a wonderfully diverse press we've got. we've got to keep press freedom. what does press freedom to do with breaking the law? what does press freedom to do with bribing policemen for information and with hacking phones illegally? the point is and the select committee who were very bad at cross-examination and very boring at many times, they never got to the point of saying what
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story? what great public interest story did you ever get from invading privacy? this is the $64 question the murdochs and miss brooks never suggested an ounce or two. press freedom is great. >> jeffrey, i'm going to have to interrupt you. forgive me. i have to interrupt you. the select committee or otherwise. i know you'll forgive me. we do need to take a momentary break. jeffrey, allison and michael will be with us after the break. on the other side of this short intermission. cnn's coverage of the evidence before the commons select committee. if you're watching, we thank you for your company. they said i cot above my weight class. but i did. they said i couldn't get elected to congress. but i did. ♪ sometimes when we touch ha ha! millions of hits!
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one of the most powerful men in modern media gets grilled by the british parliament. rupert murdoch, head of news corp., faced an inflinching init ter gags. his son james murdoch, form earp editor in chief of "news of the world," rebekah brooks, were called out. after hours of testimony they all said they had no idea that their reporters had allegedly been hacking phones, bribing police and prying into the private records of everyone from the former prime minister to the families of fallen soldiers. but it begs the question, when you're the boss, when do you have to take responsibility for other people's actions? i'm joined now by richard, an expert of culture and president and ceo of levitt communications and howard kurtz, bureau chief for "newsweek." first, richard, to you, you
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literally wrote the book on leadership in a time of crisis. rupert murdoch and son james saying today they had no idea this was happening on their watch. when you're the boss, is that even possible? >> you know, it's possible but it's not leadership. rupert murdoch missed an extraordinary opportunity today to show leadership. while his son james was doing a good job in talking about the facts and showing himself to be an executive, rupert murdoch was periodically stumbling, didn't answer questions particularly well. when asked the question do you take responsibility? he flat out answered, no. he should have taken the opportunity to say i do not take legal responsibility but i am the leader and talk about leadership. >> is ignorance enough, do you think, to get you off the hook, or to get him off the hook, or might he see -- might the murdochs see some jail time here? is that possible? >> it certainly seems unlikely based on the facts that have
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come out so far. they mps were skeptical about the murdochs' claim that they had no idea that all had hacking was going on but they didn't have specific evidence to refute those claims with. so i have to say it was a pretty inept questioning by the members of parliament and the murdochs mid made the most of it. james murdoch filibustered a lot, used a lot of business jargon, talked about being proactive. the core message here from both murdochs was we had no idea what was going on under our noses, and there was no proof to the contrary. >> and it does seem when you look at what happened there today with this shaving cream pie that was directed at rupert murdoch, you have to wonder about the anger and how much rage there is on behalf of so many over what has allegedly happened here.
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do you think that this process is about getting the facts or do you think that this could also be very much about public shaming? >> well, the shaving cream was his best moment because it was a very halting and inconvincing performance. let's make no mistake. this is a scandal because it reaches to parliament, because it reaches to police as well as to the fabric of journalism that has rocked britain and captured the attention of much of the world so while, you know, rupert murdoch and to some lesser extent his son james didn't give much up here in thames of knowing about about seemingly anything going on in their corporation, they are also on trial in the court of public opinion and there, i think, rupert murdoch not only said that he wasn't responsible. he defended rebekah brooks. he defended les hinton, the former dow jones ceo who also resigned last friday, and he said he had been betrayed by unname other employees. it was not overall an impressive
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performance. >> we mo this has to be costing news corp. millions. how much of a liability is it to keep rupert murdoch where he is right now? >> i don't know if the liability is to rupert murdoch but it is his leadership. i think he has to stay and use others as a human shield for as long as he can. he's been a liability in many ways if you look at the value of property for so many years. but when is news corporation going to get out and do the top to bottom investigation not just of their british publications and they're only doing that right now but, in fact, going worldwide? and until they do that they will always be behind the story and as long as he's at the helm and performing the way he did today, he will increasingly be a liability. >> what are your thoughts about strategy here? rupert murdoch is 81 years old but did appear frail. his son taking a lot of the
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questions for him and helping him through this. do you think that was part of the plan? >> i don't think rupert murdoch was capable of another plan. he is 81 and he's not a young 81. but, remember, this is his candy store. news corp. is a publicly traded company but the murdoch family through trusts and what not controls about 40% of the stock. so they don't really answer to anybody. the board of directors is a docile group that basically answers to murdoch's call and my sense is they did just enough to stop a rebellion from the board of directors and, you know, there really is not much that can be done. he owns a controlling interest in this company and when you own a controlling interest, there's not much people can do to you. >> interesting testimony and interesting discussion as well. thank you, jeffrey toobin,
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howard kurtz and richard levick. up next, a major hacking investigation involving the fbi unfolding in the u.s. right now. we have the very latest details about some new arrests. to your kids' wet skin. new neutrogena® wet skin kids. ordinary sunblock drips and whitens. neutrogena® wet skin cuts through water. forms a broad spectrum barrier for full strength sun protection. wet skin. neutrogena®.
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now to a major hacking investigation under way right here in the u.s. we're getting word that more than a dozen people have been arrested for their possible link to the notorious hacking group amon mouse. brian todd is digging into this. tell us the very latest. >> reporter: randi, a law enforcement federal official says at least 14 suspects arrested so far in an ongoing operation aimed at taking down the now notorious hacking group
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called anonymous. this follows a day where several arrest warrants were issued across the country. many of them in the new york city area, in brooklyn, the bronx and long island. the arrests, we're told, though, occurred in florida and new jersey. more are expected. 14 have been arrested so far in this operation targeting this hacking group called anonymous. now anonymous notorious over the past year for several hacking incidents linked to the hacking of websites affiliated with the church of scientology. they vaulted to fame when they were associated with the disruption of websites of visa, mast mastercard and paypal and that was in retaliation for those sites ending their affiliation with wikileaks, the anonymous hackers were said to have tried secret retaliation for ending their affiliation with wikileaks so they disrupted their websites back in december.
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anonymous also linked to the hacking of the cia's website, sony, fox, so they've been very active over the past year. this is a major operation aimed at taking them down. a former justice department prosecutor who handled the cyber crime division was telling me how difficult these investigations are and how significant this is. it takes a long time to get some of these people and once they get them, they can maybe turn other evidence against others. that commonly happens in these investigations so this is a major development. at least 14 suspects now associated with anonymous have been arrested. >> all right, brian todd, thank you for the update. u.s. guns found at crime scenes in mexico. congress is demanding answers from the fbi and the dea. every day, all around the world,
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if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if pradaxa can reduce your risk of a stroke. 42 minutes past the hoyer. time to get you caught up on the headlines. president obama says he's ready to meet with congressional
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leaders again on the debt ceiling. he spoke at the beginning of the regular white house briefing last hour. the president also says he just received a new proposal from the senate's bipartisan gang of six calling for $3.7 trillion in savings over the next at the point years. the in london we knew there would be drama at the parliamentary grilling of rupert murdoch and son james with you no one expected a shaving cream pie. the incruder was almost intercepted by the elder murdoch's wife wendy after which had hearing was only briefly suspended. murdoch and son repeatedly apologized for the phone hacking scandal that's rocked their media empire. rue pert murdoch in particular vows not to step down. a historic day in space. for the last time in the foreseeable future a u.s. space shuttle undocked from the interna international space station. the space shuttle "atlantis" separated early this morning, about 250 miles above earth. it will return home thursday. congressional investigators have given the fbi and the drug
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enforcement administration just one week to produce documents to aid their investigation of a controversial gun purchasing operation by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. the atf program allowed heavy duty assault programs to be purchased. many were recovered in crime scenes in mexico. according to a tweet from the mayor of philadelphia, the city will not start finding pedestrians $120 for texting while walking contrary to reports that have flooded the internet today. officials said the city's give respect, get respect campaign targeting cyclists, motorists and pedestrians will include educational brochures but no fines for pedestrians. texas changers ceo nolan ryan has been released from a hospital and will rest at home before returning to work. ryan was hospitalized sunday after experiencing discomfort. tests he underwent yesterday showed no new problems related to a heart condition for which he was already being treated.
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the latest attempt to break israel's naval blockade is over. it ended quietly. we'll have a live report from jerusalem. and he gives me a variety of options. would you like to have a look at a map, my lad? ah, why not? shall we check on the status of your knighthood? yes. again? yes, again, please! thank you. with my digital manservant, i'll never be homesick again. would you like me to put the kettle on, sir? no, i'd like you to get rid of that ostrich. it's been here a month. [ male announcer ] think, type, go. with just type. only on the new hp touchpad with webos. handle more than 165 billion letters and packages a year. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent. the united states postal service doesn't run on your tax dollars. it's funded solely by stamps and postage.
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our globe trekking segment takes us to the middle east. >> reporter: a small french flagged protest boat is escorted into the israeli port, the end of its voyage vastly different from the original plan to challenge israel's naval blockade of gaza with ten protest vessels. in the end just had one even got close and not very close before the israeli navy intervened. >> this is the israeli navy. what is your port of origin? >> reporter: the boat ordered without incident, the crew transferred to israeli naval
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vessels. the end of the latest attempt by activists to break the gaza blockade and the first since a bloody end to a similar one a year ago. it ended with israeli forces dramatically boarding several of the protest boats. on one the turkish flag claimed they were attacked first. in the end nine were dead and nearly 50 hurt in a confrontation that create add major diplomatic headache for israel that included damaged relations with turkey. this time a preemptive strike of sorts by israel asking regional governments to help out. protest boats in greece held up, protesters say, by trumped up bureaucratic issues, even sabotaged. claims dismissed by greek authorities who say they were going by the book. protesters saying the holdups were the result of pressure from israel. >> the real situation in gaza is well understood by all
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mediterranean governments, by other governments as well that by all the relevant governments on the eastern mediterranean. and this is why no one wanted to be dragged into this irresponsible adventure by a handful of lunatics. >> reporter: in the end it was the little flotilla that couldn't, left wallowing instead of heading for gaza, all except one that got out of port saying they were heading for egypt not gaza. organizers say they may have failed to launch the whole flotilla but succeeded in highlighting the plight of gaza's 1.5 million mrips, most of whom live below the poverty line and are economically at israel's mercy. israel disputes that saying it allows humanitarian aid into the territory and the blockade is to prevent weapons reaching militants inside gaza. according to those behind this below ti flotilla, there will be another and another as long as the
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blockade continues. michael holmes, cnn, jerusalem. up next, the woman everyone is talking about today. rupert murdoch's wife. we know she went after her husband's attacker today.
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it is the moment of the day everyone is talking about. have you seen it yet? after being grilled by british lawmakers for more than two and a half hours rupert murdoch was attacked quite literally at today's phone hacking hearing. it all started when a man at the hearing lunged at murdoch with a shaving cream pie. we're told he said, you're a greedy billionaire as he went after the head of news corp. now can you see the woman there in the pink?
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she doesn't waste any time or effort going after that attacker. so who is that woman running to rupert murdoch's rescue? that is his wife, wendy. and it got us wondering who is this woman who jumped to protect her man? here is what we know. she got married june 25th, 1999. the couple has two young children together. she's murdoch's third wife and just a few years older than his son, james, who is 38, and was sitting beside his father at today's hearing. "the wall street journal" part of murdoch's media empire, of course, did a profile on wendy back in 2000. in it we learned she grew up in china, came to the u.s. in 1988 to study and lived with ac california couple she met in china. the husband of that couple then left his wife and married wendy. a few years later a couple of years after that they, too, got divorced and with wendi went on to receive an mba from yale university. shortly after that she landed an internship at star tv in hong kong. star tv, of course, also under the murdoch media umbrella. that internship turned into a full-time job and according to
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"the wall street journal" by 1998 all the buzz at star tv was about the romance between wendi and rue pupert murdoch. he divorced his wife of 31 years and married wendi just a few weeks later. coming up, snake eyes. one las vegas tycoon is taking shots at president obama. [ male announcer ] germs in your mouth build up
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for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal. time now for a cnn political update. and we're taking a look at the public's appetite for a deal on the debt ceiling. cnn political producer shannon travis joining me now from washington. what are people saying? >> reporter: well, you talk about that as we look at the appetite as we mentioned, randi, democrats don't want the cuts to be too deep to their pet causes. republ republicans say that they don't want tax cuts -- i'm sorry, tax hikes. and both sides are citing public opinion. there's a new poll that seems to be the third to confirm pretty much essentially the same thing that americans have an appetite for spending cuts and tax increases. should there be a debt ceiling
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deal, of 66% want spending cuts and tax increases. 28% say only spending cuts. and 3% say only tax increases. how does this break down in terms of republicans and democrats and independents? take a look at this poll. debt ceiling should include both spending cuts and tax increases, democrats, 71%. independents 68%. republicans, 55%. even tea party members 53%. and right now it's a split between whether the debt ceiling limit should be raised. 46% to 49%, but that's up 22 points. randi? >> interesting numbers. what's this about the las vegas billionaire talking poll it particulars? >> reporter: yeah, really, really quickly, billionaire steve, you've seen his resorts all over las vegas, he's blasting president obama. i'm going to read this quote from an earnings call yesterday. quote, i'm saying it bluntly that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in


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